Give them carte blanche and you’ll share their best travel moments, starting with pintxos of skewered olives, guindilla peppers and anchovies drizzled with olive oil “picked up in Italy.” Next Nemeth might saunter by with a cast-iron pot of smoked herring à l’huile with heirloom carrots and onions. “Herring for people who don’t even like herring,” my friend says – and very much for people who do. Serve yourself as much as you want before the pot goes back to the kitchen; the fingerling potatoes in a Dijon vinaigrette you’ll want to keep.
Thinly sliced porcini – one meaning of Edulis, the other being “edible” in Latin – with foie gras torchon in a pine-nut vinaigrette is a subtle study in shades of pale. In contrast, Copper River salmon baked in cedar leaves is vivid pink and forcefully intense, served with butter-poached radishes, wheat berries and pea shoots. Deliciously crunchy seasonal soft-shell crab schnitzel looks exactly like it sounds: a crab in a schnitzel costume.